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Posted on Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 5:47 a.m.

Ann Arbor movie 'Love and Honor,' acclaimed 'West of Memphis,' and more

By Russ Collins

Opening downtown

Set in Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan during the heat of the anti-war movement in 1969, with real Ann Arbor events and characters depicted in the film, “Love and Honor” is a romantic drama set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War and the moon landing, as two charming and passionate young soldiers (Liam Hemsworth and Austin Stowell) go to any length for love—even sneaking away from a war to fly halfway around the world. Written by University of Michigan Screen Arts & Cultures screenwriting professor Jim Burnstein, directed by Pioneer High School and U-M alum Danny Mooney, and produced by U-M alumni Eddie Rubin and Pat Olson, “Love and Honor” opens Friday at the Michigan Theater.

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“West of Memphis” tells the untold story behind an extraordinary and desperate fight to bring the truth to light. Starting with a searing examination of the police investigation into the 1993 murders of three 8-year-old boys in the small town of West Memphis, Arkansas, the film goes on to uncover new evidence surrounding the arrest and conviction of the other three victims of this shocking crime: the three teenagers accused of the crime. The young men went on to lose 18 years of their lives imprisoned for crimes they did not commit. David Germain of the Associated Press says, “’West of Memphis’ is nonfiction filmmaking at its best, a film with a fierce point of view yet one that doesn't pretend to have all the answers or a monopoly on truth.” “West of Memphis” plays March 31, April 1 and 2 at the Michigan Theater.

In “Lore,” 14-year-old Lore (striking newcomer Saskia Rosendahl) must lead her four siblings on a harrowing journey across a devastated country when her SS officer father and mother, a staunch Nazi believer, are captured by the victorious Allies at the end of World War II. When she meets a charismatic and mysterious young refugee, Lore soon finds her world shattered by feelings of hatred and desire as she must put her trust in the very person she was always taught to hate in order to survive. Joe Williams of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says, “With a child's perspective on war, ‘Lore’ deserves comparisons with ‘Empire of the Sun’ and ‘Hope and Glory,’ and with a feisty female protagonist it stands virtually alone.” “Lore” plays Wednesday and Thursday, April 3 and 4, at the Michigan Theater.

Opening at the cineplex

In "G.I. Joe: Retaliation," the G.I. Joes are not only fighting their mortal enemy Cobra; they are forced to contend with threats from within the government that jeopardize their very existence. "G.I. Joe: Retaliation” opens Thursday, March 28.

"The Host" is the next epic love story from the creator of the "Twilight” saga. When an unseen enemy threatens mankind by taking over their bodies and erasing their memories, Melanie (Saoirse Ronan) will risk everything to protect the people she cares most about. ”The Host” opens Friday.

A bold exploration of the intrigue and perils of infidelity, "Tyler Perry's Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor" dives straight into the heart of obsessive passion. "Tyler Perry's Temptation" opens Friday.

Special screenings downtown

In “Oldboy,” South Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook’s violent and offbeat story of punishment and vengeance, Oh Dae-su finds himself locked up in a prison cell, for reasons he doesn't understand, with no idea of what his crime was or whom his jailers may be. Imprisoned in a private prison for 15 years without explanation, one day, Dae-su is given sleeping gas and comes to and finds he has been released. Emotionally stunted but physically strong after 15 years in jail, Dae-su struggles to unravel the secret of who is responsible for locking him up and how to best get revenge against his captors. “Oldboy” plays Saturday, March 30 at 2 p.m. at the Michigan Theater and is free and open to the public! Presented by the Nam Center for Korean Studies.

Tom Long of the Detroit News says “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” “reminds you of the power of film like no other movie in memory.” See it Monday, April 1 at the Michigan Theater at 7 p.m.

Based on a true story, “Moneyball” stars Brad Pitt stars as Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland A’s and the guy who assembles the team, who has an epiphany: All of baseball’s conventional wisdom is wrong. Part of the Science on Screen series, after the film, University of Michigan physics professor Dr. Brad Orr will answer questions like, “Ever wonder why a curve ball drops?” and “What happens at the crack of a bat?” This presentation will keep you wondering “How did that happen?” throughout the entire baseball season. “Moneyball” plays Wednesday, April 3, at 7 p.m. at the Michigan Theater. See you at the movies!

Russ Collins is executive director of the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor. Tune in to the audio version of “Cinema Chat” on WEMU radio (89.1-FM) each Thursday at 7:40 a.m. and 5:40 p.m., or listen to it online at WEMU's web site.